NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

Green Finance Conference spotlights climate conscious growth for Africa

Aby Agina from KTN News Kenya interviews Pasi Hellman, NDF, and David Ekabouma, AGF.
22.06.2017

Nairobi, Kenya, 21st June 2017: Access to finance for SMEs is the answer to growing a green and economically sustainable future for Africa.

In a continent where Green Finance has been unreachable for numerous SMEs, the conversation on the opportunities in the region could not have come at a better time. Issues around the commercialisation of green projects and solutions available, the role of Financial institutions in promoting green finance as well as the need to create a conducive environment for the growth of Green finance and green energy are centre to the future of Africa’s sustainability.

The African Guarantee Fund (AGF), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) held the Green Finance Conference on 21 June 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. Key discussions zeroed in on the funding of climate change mitigation and adaptation; climate conscious investments; the risk climate change poses to a financial institution’s portfolio; and the potential for climate change regulation to spur the development of new products and services for individuals and SMEs.

“There is a consensus among shareholders that there is a strong correlation between the sustainability of the Africa economic growth that we are looking for and the energy consumption and, more generally, environmental issues. The insufficient supply of energy across the continent affects all aspects of development, more specifically social, eeconomic, environmental, and even quality of life,” said Felix Bikpo, CEO African Guarantee Fund (AGF)

Kenya is recognized as a Green Finance leader in the UNEP Inquiry report  of July 2016. However, Green Finance is still struggling to take off due to factors pertaining to the financial sector regulators, financial institutions and SMEs.

“Economic growth can only be meaningful if it is inclusive and sustainable. Economic opportunities for this generation must also deliver improved livelihoods and working conditions for the next. That’s why promoting green business models and green trade must be at the heart of all we do,” said Mr. Anders Aeroe, Director, DEI, International Trade Centre (ITC)

This Green Finance Conference builds on the 2016 launch of a green guarantee product by AGF and joint work by all three organizing institutions to expand access to finance for green growth-focused small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

"The rapidly expanding green finance around the world represents a huge opportunity for the African economies. Development and climate finance institutions can assist, as they can be catalysts for green finance, both on supply and demand side," said Mr. Pasi Hellman, Managing Director, Nordic Development Fund.

Also present during the conference was Central Bank Governor, Dr. Patrick Njoroge who said:
“Climate change is real and the CBK has a responsibility in this area. If we don’t do anything about it, it will be catastrophic to the financial sector.”

Dr. Geoffrey Mwau, Director General, Budget Fiscal and Economic Affairs, at the National Treasury, officially opened the Green Finance Conference on behalf of Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.
“Our economy, like many others around the world, is still highly dependent on natural resources and remains profoundly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The Government recognises the critical importance of green economic growth and investment. In our effort to find new sources of long-term sustainable investment, the National Treasury established the Kenya Green Bond Programme, which aims at drawing on the significant private sector demand for investment in environmental projects.”

For more information please contact:

Rehema Kahurananga rehema.kahurananga@africanguaranteefund.com Cell +254 718 930511

Terryanne Chebet terryanne@scarletdigital.co.ke  Cell +254 728202055

Charles Wetherill charles.wetherill@ndf.fi Nordic Development Fund, Country Program Manager Cell +358 50 464 5773

ABOUT US:

African Guarantee Fund Officially launched on 1 June 2012, the African Guarantee Fund is a pan-African non-bank financial institution owned by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). AGF’s primary mandate is to assist financial institutions in Africa to scale up their SME financing through the provision of partial loan guarantees and capacity development assistance. In 2016, AGF launched a green guarantee facility aimed at unlocking finance for SMEs investing in low carbon, green growth and climate resilient development.

Nordic Development Fund Established by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in 1989, NDF is a joint Nordic finance institution focusing exclusively on climate change and development in low-income countries. It supports public and private sector led climate finance operations across Africa, Asia and Latin America and became an AGF shareholder in 2016 with the launch of the green guarantee facility.

International Trade Centre ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Watch KTN News Kenya's coverage of the conference below.